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In my bedroom, I have a pair of wooden corner sliding doors, pictured below: corner doors

My cat is banned from entering the bedroom when we're sleeping here, since she keeps waking us up. However, actually implementing the ban is hard, because she learned how to open the doors. As a temporary measure, I'm tying together the handles (both of the doors have one inside), but I'm looking for a more permanent solution.

The solution doesn't need to actually lock the door, it's good as long as the cat (~4.5 kg) can't just use her body weight to open it. It's important however, for the solution to be able to be locked/unlocked from both inside and outside (for inside-only solutions, I found latches, so if there's nothing better, I'll probably settle for it), since me and my wife usually go to sleep at different times, so one person should be able to lock it inside, and the other should be able to then open the door from outside.

Adding more pictures per request. Closed: corner doors - closed The cat pushes on one of the doors, and here's the result: corner doors - cat broke in

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    Should realize by now that the cat is your lord and master.
    – crip659
    Apr 3 at 18:35
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    maybe it's just me, but i'm having a hard time envisioning how this works from the picture. Can you post a pic of what they doors look like when the cat opens them enough to get in?
    – dandavis
    Apr 3 at 18:47
  • @dandavis Added more photos. Apr 3 at 19:39
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    If you succeed in locking the cat out, he/she will just continuously meow until you let it in.
    – JACK
    Apr 3 at 20:35
  • That's not a concern, she actually understands that she won't be let in behind closed doors, unless she's locked in somewhere. So she either opens it herself, or gives up. Apr 4 at 4:34

3 Answers 3

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I'd just stick a pair of magnets on the end of one sliding door, with corresponding steel plates for the magnets to stick to on the other sliding door. One on top, and one on the bottom.

Magnet strength should be such that you can open the door, but the cat cannot.

It's the best option for fire safety too, or if you're just in a hurry, because there's no latch to open in an emergency. However it will make a "clap" noise when the doors latch close, which may be a problem for night-time bathroom breaks.

However the cat will wake you up by mewling until you give up and open it yourself ;)

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  • It seems that the cat is weird and has learned that incessant mewling will not get the door opened.
    – FreeMan
    Apr 4 at 15:37
  • This is a really good idea, too. Added benefit: no need to mortise in latch hardware. Apr 4 at 21:01
  • Yeah there are plenty of different magnets. You can get thin ones to put on the end of the door, but that would leave a small opening from the thickness of the magnet when the doors are closed. Or right angle angle ones to put on the side, but they will be visible from the inside when the doors are closed. You can always try the thin ones on the end, and if that works, grab the router and mill off a bit of wood to sink the magnet into the end of the door.
    – bobflux
    Apr 5 at 7:35
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The doors appear to be meeting at the inside corners when closed, as shown in this crude ascii art:

 ___|_|
 ___|

Will one door go past the inside corner to fully cover the end of the other door, as in one of these:

 ___| |
 ___|_|

 ___|_|
 _____|

If so, you could use a standard pocket door latch that engages the door against the opposite jamb with a hook into a plate in the jamb. Use the covering door as the 'jamb' for the other door. Mount the 'jamb' hardware in the covering door, and the latch hardware in the covered door.

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  • Yes, the door go past the inside corner. I didn't think about it, but you're right, this should work! Apr 3 at 19:30
  • The second picture looks like the setup you'd need. Apr 3 at 21:02
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The simple solution is to get rid of the cat. However, for reasons that are totally beyond my ability to comprehend, people just don't seem to be willing to accept that solution.

An alternate possibility would be to affix a roller contraption to the top of the railing. When the cat jumps up there, she won't be able to find a solid purchase and will fall off. Since she seems to be smart enough to know that she won't be let in by incessant meowing, she should quickly figure out that she won't be able to balance up there after a few tries and will quit trying. If she's not on the railing, she can't open the door and the problem is solved.

The rollers may not be the prettiest thing in the world, but once she's been trained to not jump up there, she probably won't jump again even with the rollers gone.

Design of the roller contraption is left as an exercise for the reader. Possibly involving a new question.

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